Thursday, February 2, 2023

Rouhani’s Ministers Launch Campaign against Qalibaf

Several members of President Hassan Rouhani’s cabinet have launched a campaign in which they have offered their entire possessions and properties to conservative presidential candidate Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf in exchange for those belonging to him.

Qalibaf, who is one of the six candidates contesting in Iran’s May 19 presidential election, in the second live TV debate on May 5, called on his rival Hassan Rouhani and other state officials to declare their wealth.

According to a report by IFP, Qalibaf had noted that “it must be clear what [property and possessions] we and our next of kin, including our wives, children, sisters and brothers have, what we do and where we live.”

In reaction to his challenge, three ministers of Rouhani’s government expressed readiness to exchange their belongings and properties with him.

First, Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh announced readiness to exchange his belongings with those of the incumbent Tehran mayor. And next, the country’s minister of roads and urban development, Abbas Akhoundi, and Economy Minister Ali Tayyebnia made the same offer.

In his video, Zanganeh said, “I have been minister for close to 25 years. During this period, I have headed the Oil Ministry for more than 12 years. In fact, I work at a ministry which earns the highest income and boasts the highest turnover among other organizations. If I had been supposed to amass wealth, I should have had the highest income and largest number of possessions.”

He further called on Qalibaf to exchange their belongings and properties with each other.

“I mean I will transfer whatever belongs to me and my family to Qalibaf and he transfers the possessions he and his family have to me. It is very simple. In case his is ready, at his earliest convenience, we can go to a notary public office and do this. I am ready.”

Zanganeh added he has declared his wealth to the Judiciary for several times and has been quite transparent about his possessions.

Hours after Zanganeh made these remarks, Akhoundi and Tayyebnia announced that they are also ready for an exchange of possessions with Qalibaf.

In response to the proffer made by the Rouhani administration’s ministers, Qalibaf said on Thursday (May 11) he is ready to exchange all his belongings and properties and those of the members of his family with only half of Rouhani’s house.

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